Mickey Blue is starting his first official year as a preschooler. We’re pretty relaxed about school here; I prefer the kids to learn through play, reading, and conversations. This fits my kids personalities and our family really well.
However, I do still have some goals that I’d like to work on with the Mickey this year. So we’ve come up with a plan for his preschool learning that fits our relaxed homeschool style.
On tops of these learning areas, Charlotte Mason also suggested exposing them to things which would add enrichment and beauty to their lives. This could include activities like handiwork, music, art, and poetry.
Preschool learning shouldn’t include formal academics until children are a bit older, but if they show interest, younger children can be introduced informally through activities and play. They can also participate in learning with older siblings (if they have them).
We don’t usually make a big deal about the start of the school year, but I’m wanting to make more of a tradition for the kids to look forward to. So, this year, we are going to take pictures with sweet signs of all their important digits (age, grade, etc.).
I read several reviews on bibles recommended for toddlers and preschoolers. Jenae, from I can Teach my Child, wrote a great review on The best bibles for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Although I didn’t pick a preschool one from her list, it helped me figure out what I was looking for in a bible for Mickey.
I actually had a hard time choosing between the bibles that others really liked. But it came down to several deciding factors:
I am so happy with The Candle Bible for Toddlers! It met every requirement that I had. It has cartoon like graphics. Mickey doesn’t connect with older looking graphics like the Jesus Storybook Bible – which was Izzy’s favourite preschool bible.
There are a TON of stories; 22 from the Old Testament and 43 from the New Testament. The stories vary from 8-16 pages and are written in a manner perfect for preschool learning. The sentences are short and concise but accurate and descriptive.
We paid under $15 for his bible – and right now Amazon has it on sale for just under $13 with prime shipping! You really can’t go wrong with this bible!
To develop good habits and spiritual practices, Mickey listens to a story from his bible most days with our morning basket time and again at bed time. He loves having a special book that is just his to curl up and read with mom or dad.
Charlotte Mason had a list of about 60 personal habits to work on in young children; however, two of them are critical during this stage of preschool learning.
Sonya, from Simply Charlotte Mason, wrote a great post (Habit Training in the Early Years) that summarizes ways to help develop these important habits in our children. Sonya wrote a great series, Smooth and Easy Days, that went over these habits bit by bit providing instruction and encouragement.
Now, these words of wisdom have been compiled into a free E-book – Simple and Easy Days. I’m reading it right now and will be using it as my guide throughout the year to work on developing these great habits.
We have always spent a lot of time out of doors as I love being outside and in nature myself. My other hobby (because busy mom’s have times for hobbies right!?) is gardening which again draws us outside.
We spent a good year getting our backyard really kid friendly. It’s fully fenced and completely safe. There are chickens and a large garden that the kids can enjoy with a parent. We also have a large trampoline and a play structure. Because we live out of town, I wanted to be able to easily go out and play without having to drive to a park all the time. Costco also had a really fun geometric climbing dome, so we got one. And finally, we’ve dug out several areas around the yard to make little construction sites and play areas.
Aside from free play outside, Mickey also joins us when we have focussed nature study time. Our goal this year is to do a nature walk with a group of other homeschoolers once a week. We often have down time in the afternoons while Little Lou is napping and I’ve planned art and science activities focussed on nature for the afternoons when the kids are interested.
If you’d like to see how we do our focussed nature study time, you can take a look at some of last years nature study plans (Winter nature study; A lesson on trees, Spring Nature Study on Ponds & Owl Winter Nature Study).
This year I’ll be posting up our nature study resources including the books we’re reading, our nature walk ideas, art and science activities, and free printable copy work or dictation pages. If you want to join us you can subscribe below to join our community and get the new lessons straight to your inbox.
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Our morning basket time provides great exposure to literature. We fill our basket with living books of a variety of subjects and age levels. If you want to know more about Living Books – you can check out my post How do you know if a book is a living book?
Do you want to see how we use our morning basket to increase our exposure to literature on all subjects? I wrote a guest post, How to teach your kids MORE in less time with a morning basket, for Encouraging Moms at Home all about our morning basket routine! There is also a 19 page FREE printable you can grab that has lists of living books for each subject for every age.
As a slow and fun introduction to basic academics I’ve collected some great books on numbers, colors, shapes and letters.
My absolute favourite ones are a series from Usborne Books – Lift the Flap. In particular we are using the Numbers, Colors and Shapes books. Mickey really enjoys them and often chooses them for bedtime reading. They are very interactive and introduce the topics in a variety of ways which is perfect for preschool learning. The shapes book has kids peeking under the shape, finding the right shape, counting them and more.
If you’re interested in ordering any of these books, I am an Usborne consultant and I’d be happy to help you. Just leave me a note through the contact form here on the website.
There will still be other learning opportunities throughout the year. We go on field trips sometimes or take on projects with friends. We also have some fun learning manipulatives that we spend a lot of time playing with. Our local homeschooling group also organizes swimming lessons and drop in gymnastics classes. We really don’t struggle to fill our days at all, but focus more to keep them simple and un-rushed.
I’m really looking forward to learning with Mickey. But moreover, I look forward to playing with him and watching him grow this year.
Kids past that age already? What were your best plans and resources during the preschool years? Leave me a comment down below! I love hearing from you guys!
This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Party. You can find more great posts about this years curriculum choices for other homeschooling families on the iHN blog.
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